1. Who are we?

The following company (“we” or “us”) is fundamentally responsible for data processing under this privacy policy:

Flatfox AG
Speichergasse 31, 3011 Berne
[email protected]

2. What personal data do we process and why?

We process a range of personal data depending on the circumstances and purpose. Further details can be found in this section and in our General Terms and Conditions of Business.

As a rule, we collect your personal data directly from you, e.g. when you send personal data to us, when you use our services and when you communicate with us. This is the case, for example, when you provide us with your e-mail address and your first and last names when creating a user account, when you act as a natural person in your capacity as advertiser, when you create a response file as an interested party on our flatfox.ch real estate platform, or when you enter your name and contact details as a tenant when terminating your rental agreement, reporting damage or for other tenant issues via our online form.

However, we may also collect personal data from other sources. This relates in particular to the following data and sources:

  • information from public registers, e.g. the debt collection register, and from public authorities;

  • information from private information providers, e.g. credit agencies;

  • providers of online services, e.g. providers of web analysis services that collect information on our website and analyse it (you can find out more about this in the section entitled “How do we process personal data in connection with websites, apps and e-mail newsletters?”);

  • information from financial service providers when you make payments to us;

  • information we receive from a company you work for, e.g. name, contact details, title, function etc.;

  • information about you that other people share with us, e.g. when communicating with us or when providing information via our online form, or in the course of official or judicial proceedings;

  • information about you that our users (e.g. landlords, property managers and tenants) enter via our rental portal, e.g. when communicating with us or storing or exchanging documents;

  • other information about you that we receive from landlords and property managers.

We process your personal data primarily to offer and provide our services, in particular to enable you to respond to property advertisements, to publish property advertisements and to communicate with advertisers and interested parties, to use our online forms or our rental portal, for the purposes described below and for other purposes that we tell you about separately or that are self-evident:

  • for communicating with you and with third parties;

  • for providing, managing, backing up and personalising websites, apps, online offerings and other infrastructure;

  • for concluding and processing agreements with you;

  • for concluding and processing agreements with our suppliers, customers and business partners with whom you are in contact, and for customer relationship management;

  • for recording notices of termination, damage reports and other matters as a tenant;

  • for enabling our users to communicate and exchange documents with other users and with third parties (e.g. landlords or tenants who are not users);

  • to become better acquainted with our end users and their behaviour and affinities, and to assess and improve the uptake of our services and our communications in connection with services;

  • on behalf of our customers to assess your economic viability;

  • for advertising and marketing, e.g. for organising events, competitions and the like and for the dispatch of target group-specific information and marketing messages by post and via electronic channels (unless the recipient has objected to direct marketing);

  • for preparing and implementing company acquisitions and -sales, and similar transactions;

  • for administering and managing our IT and other resources;

  • for accounting, archiving, training and other administrative purposes;

  • for reviewing and improving our internal processes;

  • for ensuring the safety of our employees and the security of our buildings and facilities;

  • for verifying and complying with legal obligations, including orders of a court or authority; for compliance and for the detection, investigation and prevention of misuse;

  • for asserting our claims and claims of affiliated companies and for fending off claims against us, our employees, companies affiliated with us and against our contractual and business partners, before courts and authorities at home and abroad.

We may also process data when processing the orders of our customers, for example when sending messages on behalf of landlords and property managers to persons who are not users of our portal. As in these cases we act as order processor, they are directly informed by the corresponding landlords or property managers about such processing.

3. Who do we share your personal data with?

Our staff have access to personal data to the extent that this is necessary for the purposes described and the activities of the employees concerned. This includes employees in support areas. They act in accordance with our directives and our obliged to handle your personal data with confidentiality and discretion.

If you respond to a property advertisement on our flatfox.ch real estate platform as an interested party, we share the personal data provided by you in the response file with the relevant advertiser. If you, as an advertiser, place an advertisement on our flatfox.ch real estate platform, we publish it on our real estate platform and elsewhere if appropriate. Any personal data contained in the advertisement may also be included in the published advertisement. We may also disclose the identity of advertisers to interested parties if they use functions with automatic word completion such as names of management companies.

If users send information (including within documents, for example) to other users or third parties via the real estate platform, we forward this information, including the personal data it contains (which may relate to the sender him- or herself, the addressee or third parties at the sender’s own responsibility), to the relevant addressee. 

You can obtain various services from third-party providers on our website (e.g. ordering extracts from the debt collection register, insurance policies, removal and storage services). Should you purchase such services, we disclose your personal data to the third-party provider to the extent necessary (as a rule personal details, date of birth and contact details). We are not responsible for the processing of such data at the third-party provider’s end. However, as far as the ordering of extracts from the debt collection register is concerned, the third-party provider has contractually assured us that it will not use such extracts for databases for clarifying creditworthiness and/or credit information.

We may also forward your personal data to third parties if we wish to use their services (e.g. IT service providers). 

We may also forward personal data to other companies (including) for their own purposes. In these cases, the recipient of the data is a separate controller under data protection law. This applies to the following cases, for example:

  • If we place advertisements on third-party platforms on behalf of customers, we will forward your response to such advertisements to the relevant customer and enable electronic communication between you and the customer on our systems. 

  • We likewise forward messages to third parties if a user sends messages via the real estate platform (see above). 

  • If we review or carry out transactions such as corporate mergers or the acquisition or sale of individual parts of a company or its assets, we are required to transfer personal data to another company in this context.

  • We may disclose your personal data to third parties (e.g. courts and authorities in Switzerland and abroad) if this is required by law. We also reserve the right to process your personal data in order to comply with a court order or to assert or fend off legal claims, or we deem this necessary for other legal reasons. In this context, we may also disclose personal data to other parties to the proceedings.

  • We may transfer claims against you to other companies, such as debt collection agencies.

4. When do we share your personal data outside Switzerland?

The recipients of your personal data may also be located abroad, including outside Switzerland and the countries of the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA). The countries in question may not have laws that protect your personal data to the same extent as Switzerland and the countries of the EU or EEA. If we wish to transfer your personal data to such a country, we must take reasonable precautions to ensure that your personal data is protected. One way we do this is by concluding data transfer agreements with the recipients of your personal data that safeguard the necessary data protection. Please contact us if you would like a copy of our data transfer agreements that concern your personal data.

5. How do we process personal data in connection with websites, apps and e-mail newsletters?

When you visit our website or use our app, we process technical data, e.g. information about the time when you access our website, the duration of your visit, the pages viewed and details of the device used in order to enable us to provide the website, for IT security reasons and to improve user-friendliness. We also use cookies, which are files stored on your device when you visit our website, and similar technologies. Some cookies are needed for the proper functioning of the website and automatically deleted after your visit. We use other cookies to save settings (e.g. a language choice) for a future visit, for anonymous statistics on the use of our website, and to personalise the content on our websites. We may also use cookies on the websites of partners to show you advertisements there that may be of interest to you and to assess your response to these advertisements; however, this does not provide the partner in question with any personal data.

In addition, we use cookies from third-party providers so that they can gather the information they need to provide their services. We also do not receive any personal data from them; however, the third-party providers collect information about your use of our website so that they can provide their services. This primarily involves statistical analyses of how our website is used. However, third-party providers may combine the information collected from you with data from other websites you have visited and may use this information for their own purposes (e.g. to manage advertising on partner sites of these providers). If you have registered with the provider concerned, the provider may identify you. This processing of your personal data is the responsibility of the provider in accordance with its own privacy policy. One example of a statistical analysis service is Google Analytics, a service offered by Google in the USA. Google uses cookies to collect information about your behaviour on our website and the device used for this purpose (tablet, PC, smartphone, etc.), e.g. information about your browser, the website from which you accessed our website, the name of your provider, your IP address, the date and time you accessed our website, the pages you visited and the length of time you spent there, and, if applicable, visits to other websites and apps. We receive reports from Google based on this information. Google stores this information in the USA; however, your IP address is first truncated in the EU or EEA. You can prevent the use of Google Analytics by using a browser add-on that you can install at https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.

When we send newsletters by e-mail, we can identify if and when you have opened the e-mail. This allows us to assess how you use the e-mail and gear our offerings better to your interests. You can prevent this data processing in your e-mail program.

You can prevent use of the technologies described above: in your browser, you can prevent cookies from being accepted and delete stored cookies by selecting the appropriate settings, and you can uninstall apps or, if necessary, configure them so that cookies are not used or are rejected. You can also configure your e-mail program so that no information is sent about how e-mail is used.

6. How long do we store your personal data?

We store your personal data in a personal form for as long as necessary for the specific purpose for which we have collected it; in the case of contracts, this is normally at least for the length of the contractual relationship. For example, if you save your response file on our flatfox.ch real estate platform, we will keep it available for you in your profile; if your user account remains inactive, we will delete your response file within a reasonable period since your last activity. If, for instance, you respond to an advertisement on our flatfox.ch real estate platform, your response will be deleted within a reasonable period following acceptance in the case of acceptance and immediately in the case of rejection, i.e. your response file will no longer be available to the advertiser on our flatfox.ch real estate platform. In the case of a response via a third-party platform, we delete all of your personal data, for example, after removing the advertisement.

We also store personal data if we have a legitimate interest in storing it, e.g. for documentation and preservation of evidence purposes, and to protect and defend against legal claims. We also store your personal data for as long as it is subject to a statutory retention requirement.

7. How do we protect your personal data?

We take appropriate technical (e.g. encryption, pseudonymisation, logging, access restriction, data backups, etc.) and organisational (e.g. instructions to our employees, confidentiality agreements, audits, etc.) security precautions to protect your personal data against unauthorised or unlawful processing and to protect it against the risk of loss, unintentional alteration, accidental disclosure or unauthorised access.

8. What rights do you have in connection with the processing of your personal data?

You can object to the processing of your data at any time, especially processing in connection with direct advertising (e.g. promotional e-mails). Under the law applicable to you, you also have the right to information, rectification, erasure, restriction of processing and the right to object to our data processing and the right to receive from us the personal data that you have provided to us in a readable format free of charge. You also have the right to withdraw consent, without this affecting the lawfulness of the data processing carried out before you withdraw consent. You may also lodge a complaint with the competent data protection authority.

9. What else should you know?

When processing your personal data, we rely in particular on the following criteria:

  • the performance of a contract with the data subject or for pre-contractual measures at their request;

  • legitimate interests; these include, for example, an interest in supporting customers and communicating with them, including outside of a contract; in marketing activities; in getting to know our customers and other persons better; in improving services and developing new ones; in combating fraud and preventing and investigating offences; in protecting customers, employees and other persons and data; in safeguarding IT security, especially in connection with the use of websites, apps and other IT infrastructure; in ensuring and organising business operations, including the operation and further development of websites and other systems; in corporate governance and development; in the sale or purchase of companies, parts of companies and other assets; in asserting or defending legal claims; in complying with Swiss law and internal regulations; and the interest of our customers in assessing the economic viability of potential buyers or tenants;

  • consent, if we ask the data subject separately for consent;

  • a requirement to comply with legislation.

As a rule, you should note that you are under no obligation to disclose personal data to us unless you have a contractual relationship with us that establishes such an obligation. However, we will have to collect and process personal data that is necessary or required by law for the inception and implementation of a contractual relationship and for the performance of the related obligations. Without this, we will not be able to conclude or continue the relevant contract. Processing log data and certain other data when you use websites is also effectively obligatory. When you communicate with us, we must also process as a minimum the personal data that you provide to us or that we send to you.

Berne, 17 August 2023